“Ready?” she asks.
“As I’ll ever be,” I sigh.
She holds out her hand to mine and with a look back at our sexy men, we take the first steps toward the meeting I’ve been both anticipating and dreading in equal measure.
Beck was the intermediary to set up this little one-hour meet and greet with our mom. It surprised me to find out how close he and my mother really are and that she asked if Beck could be with her for moral support. Apparently at least she’s been a good mom to someone, and yes, as you can see I still have a little resentment securely stored inside. Forgiveness doesn’t happen all at once, but once you start the process it becomes easier.
Elaine and Roberto Mercado divorced two years ago, and according to Beck, the crux of their issues are currently about thirty steps away from her front door. After our father’s death, Roberto still didn’t want her to have anything to do with us. I guess she couldn’t live with that, but she never took steps to make it right either. Considering all this time apart from us, she was afraid of rejection. I try to put myself in her shoes. I suppose I can see where she’s coming from. I’ve been afraid of rejection almost my entire my life, so I try not to condemn her decisions.
I’m hoping this can be a new beginning, the next step to healing, to forgiving. To leaving the last of my past hurts behind me, because I have never been happier than I am now. I don’t want that last little bit of resentment weighing me down. It’s still a heavy burden on my soul and I want it gone.
I feel like I’ve found the other part of me. My heart and soul are both finally whole in ways I never thought humanly possible. Asher has healed me in ways he’ll never truly comprehend, but I also give myself credit, because I am the only one who can make the choice to be happy, to forgive. To live. He just finally gave me the reason to want to.
Our feet stop moving. We now stand at my mother’s closed burgundy door. Livia gives my hand a quick squeeze. I twist my head to look at her. Her smile strengthens me.
Even a month ago, I wasn’t ready for this, but Asher kept persistently convincing me I needed to keep my mind open to possibilities. He’s right, of course. Look how his persistency turned out for us.
“What’s Magic Eight have to say?” she asks, making us both chuckle.
“Cannot predict now,” I reply immediately, having every answer burned into my memory. I want to be optimistic that this will be the first step to building a relationship with my mother, but I also want to be realistic. I’m only human after all. Still in need of protecting my fragile heart.
“She’s never steered us wrong.”
“Nope. Never,” I quietly reply, remembering how Asher’s fate was suspended in the balance of a few shakes that first night.
With one last smile, I take a deep breath, raise my hand, and knock. Several moments later, the door opens and I’m looking at me, just an older version. I’m looking into my eyes. Watery, scared, chocolate-brown ones. I see Beck standing behind her in my peripheral, but am unable to tear my stare away from the woman standing in front of me to acknowledge him.
Then I break.
“Hi, Mom,” I choke, tears spilling over my lids in rivers.
Suddenly Livia and I are enveloped in her arms, all three of our bodies shaking from not-so-silent sobs, and all my faded childhood memories come rushing back in living color.
Her voice, her smell, her love wraps me in its warmth, comfort, and motherly embrace, and I decide that this is the only time that Magic 8 has ever failed me. Within ten seconds of setting eyes on my mother again, I know the answer to the question I asked her before I came would be decidedly different now.
Me: Is this a new beginning?
Magic 8: Without a doubt.
~ The End ~